You're designing a new home and are ready to tackle the question of how to heat it. Forced air furnaces and radiant heat have been around for years. They both have their pros and cons, but they both will do the job of heating your home. Here is a comparison of how these different ways of heating work.
Forced Air Furnaces
Two variations exist in this category: gas and electric. Other than the way the air is heated, these furnaces work the same way.
Maintenance and Performance of Forced Air Units
When considering any heating system design, have the HVAC manufacturer rep demonstrate any maintenance that you can do on their system. This way, you'll learn how to take care of the system to get the most life from it.
There is little maintenance that a homeowner can do on a forced air furnace, other than regularly change the air filter. This is an important task, though, because it affects the performance of the system.
Some performance points to keep in mind about forced air systems include:
A few issues exist with forced air systems:
Under Floor Radiant Heat
There are also two variations of under floor radiant heat systems: hydronic (water) and electric.
Maintenance and Performance of Under Floor Radiant Heating Systems
The tubes or cables are sealed under the floor so there is little you can do to maintain these systems. The hydronic version requires a heat source which can be your existing water heater or a standalone heater.
Some performance points to keep in mind about radiant heat systems include:
A few issues exist with radiant heat systems:
Consider the pros and cons of each system as you design your house. It would be difficult and expensive to change to the other type of heating should you be dissatisfied with your choice the first time you use it in cool weather.
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